Battle of Lake Trasimene
The Battle of Lake Trasimene was a major battle in the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians under Hannibal defeated the Romans under the consul Gaius Flaminius. Hannibal's victory over the Roman army at Lake Trasimene remains, in terms of the number of men involved, the largest ambush in military history. In the prelude to the battle, Hannibal achieved the earliest known example of a strategic turning movement; the Romans alarmed and dismayed by Tiberius Sempronius Longus’ defeat at Trebia made plans to counter the new threat from the north. Sempronius returned to Rome and the Roman Senate resolved to elect new consuls the following year in 217 BC; the new consuls were Gaius Flaminius. The latter was under threat of recall from the Senate for leaving Rome without carrying out the proper rituals after being elected consul; the Senate commissioned Servilius to replace Publius Cornelius Scipio and take command of his army, while Flaminius was appointed to lead what remained of Sempronius’s army. Since both armies had been weakened by the defeat at Trebia, four new legions were raised.
These new forces, together with the remains of the former army, were divided between the two consuls. After the battles of Ticinus and Trebia, Flaminius' army turned south to prepare a defence near Rome itself. Hannibal followed, but marched faster and soon passed the Roman army. Flaminius was forced to increase the speed of his march in order to bring Hannibal to battle before reaching the city. Another force under Servilius was due to join Flaminius. Before this could happen, Hannibal lured Gaius Flaminius' force into a pitched battle, by devastating the area Flaminius had been sent to protect. Polybius wrote that Hannibal calculated that he could draw out Flaminius into battle and that "no sooner had he left the neighbourhood of Faesulae, advancing a short way beyond the Roman camp, made a raid upon the neighbouring country Flaminius became excited, enraged at the idea that he was despised by the enemy: and as the devastation of the country went on, he saw from the smoke that rose in every direction that the work of destruction was proceeding, he could not patiently endure the sight."
At the same time, Hannibal tried to sever the allegiance of Rome's allies, by proving that the Republic was powerless to protect them. Flaminius remained passively encamped at Arretium. Unable to goad Flaminius into battle, Hannibal marched boldly around his opponent's left flank and cut Flaminius off from Rome, providing the earliest record of a deliberate turning movement in military history. Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge describes the significance of this maneuver and its intended effects on the campaign: We are told nothing about it by the ancient authors, whose knowledge of war confined them to the description of battles, but it is apparent enough to us By this handsome march Hannibal cut Flaminius off from Rome... as he was apt to move by the flank past the Roman camp to taunt the Roman general. Here is shown...the clear conception of the enemy’s strategic flank, with all its advantages Nor by his maneuver had Hannibal recklessly cut himself loose from his base, though he was living on the country and independent of it, as it were.
A more perfect case of cutting the enemy from his communications can scarcely be conceived.... If he fought, it must be materially worse conditions than if his line was open. Still, Flaminius stubbornly kept his army in camp. Hannibal decided to march on Apulia, hoping that Flaminius might follow him to a battlefield of his own choosing. Flaminius, eager to exact revenge for the devastation of the countryside, facing increasing political criticism from Rome marched against Hannibal. Flaminius, like Sempronius, was impetuous and lacking in self-control, his advisors suggested that he send only a cavalry detachment to harass the Carthaginians and prevent them from laying waste to any more of the country, while reserving his main force until the other consul, arrived with his army. It proved impossible to argue with the rash Flaminius. Livy wrote that "Though every other person in the council advised safe rather than showy measures, urging that he should wait for his colleague, in order that joining their armies, they might carry on the war with united courage and counsels...
Flaminius, in a fury... gave out the signal for marching for battle." As Hannibal passed Lake Trasimene, he came to a place suitable for an ambush, hearing that Flaminius had broken camp and was pursuing him, made preparations for the impending battle. To the north was a series of forested hills where the Malpasso Road passed along the north side of Lake Trasimene. Along the hill-bordered skirts of the lake, Hannibal camped where he was in full view of anyone entering the northern defile, spent the night arranging his troops for battle. Below the camp, he placed his heavy infantry upon a slight elevation. Here, they had ample ground from which they could charge down upon the head of the Roman column on the left flank, when it should reach the position, his cavalry and Gallic infantry were concealed in the hills in the depth of the wooded valley from which the Romans would first enter, so that they could sally out and close the entrance, blocking the Roman route of retreat. He posted his light troops at intervals along the heights overlooking the plain, with orders to keep well hidden in the woods until signalled to attack.
The night before
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, artistic legacy, its influence on high culture, it is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy, the main tourist spots are Florence, Lucca, Versilia and Chianti; the village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for 40% of tourist arrivals. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val d'Orcia are internationally renowned and popular spots among travellers.
Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence. Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals. Triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche to the northeast, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast; the comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca' Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna. Tuscany has a western coastline on the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, among, the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of 22,993 square kilometres. Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, with few plains, the region has a relief, dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the region's total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, mountains, a further 25%, or 5,770 square kilometres.
Plains occupy 8.4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the Arno. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa; the climate is mild in the coastal areas, is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer, giving the region a soil-building active freeze-thaw cycle, in part accounting for the region's once having served as a key breadbasket of ancient Rome. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks; the Tuscan area was inhabited by peoples of the so-called Apennine culture in the late second millennium BC who had trading relationships with the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations in the Aegean Sea. Following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before "Orientalization" occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose.
The Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art. The Etruscans lived in the area of Etruria well into prehistory; the civilization grew to fill the area between the Arno and Tiber from the eighth century BCE, reaching its peak during the seventh and sixth centuries B. C. succumbing to the Romans by the first century BCE. Throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, Rome, influenced the civilization to a great extent. One reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, ensured peace.
These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, the construction of many buildings, both public and private. However, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather; the Roman civilization in the West of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, the region fell to barbarians migrating through the Empire from Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Goths was re-conquered by the revived Eastern Roman Empire under the strong Emperor Justinian. In the years following 572, the Lombards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their subsequent Tuscia. Pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena between Rome and France brought wealth and development during the medieval period; the food and shelter required by the
Annunciation of Cortona
The Annunciation of Cortona is a panel-painting altarpiece or retable by Fra Angelico: once housed in the Church of Gesù of Cortona, it is now held at the Museo Diocesano in Cortona. The Annunciation of Cortona was painted by Fra Angelico in 1433-1434, in tempera on panel, 175 cm x 180 cm; this is one of three Annunciations by Fra Angelico on the table (the other two are in the Prado Museum, the Museo della Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, in San Giovanni Valdarno. Two others, in fresco, are found in the convent of San Marco, Florence, at the top of the access stairs and the third cell. There are scenes of the theme combined with Adoration of the Magi at the Museum San Marco, a diptych in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria; the scene is typical of Christian iconography, "The Annunciation to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel", is described in the Gospels and in great detail in The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine, the reference book of painters of the Renaissance, which can be represented in all its symbolic.
This work is the main panel of a polyptych work, which includes a multi predella panels with scenes from the Life of the Virgin at the same Annunciazione di San Giovanni Valdarno: Marriage of the Virgin, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Dormition. They are attributed to Zanobi Strozzi, an assistant of Fra Angelico. On the left, the scene of invoking the original sin, is consistent with the principles of the Christian iconography of the painting: the pair of Adam and Eve expelled from Paradise is situated outside the walled garden of Mary, set off on a hill beyond a fence. Conversely from other Annunciations of Fra Angelico, the vanishing point of perspective is in focus monofocal the left of the table. Interesting about the annunciation scene are the three lines of text painted between the Archangel on the left and the Virgin on the right; the words of the angel are written on two lines. The words of Mary are between those two lines. If we look attentively we see. But, not all.
Mary's reply is written backwards. As a consequence we have to stand upside-down, reading from right to left, to discover what she is saying; this indicates to the viewer that the words are addressed to God, who would be in the proper position to read them
Arezzo is a city and comune in Italy and the capital of the province of the same name located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 kilometres southeast of Florence at an elevation of 296 metres above sea level, it is 30 km west of Città di Castello. In 2013 the population was about 99,000. Described by Livy as one of the Capitae Etruriae, Arezzo is believed to have been one of the twelve most important Etruscan cities—the so-called Dodecapolis, part of the Etruscan League. Etruscan remains establish that the acropolis of San Cornelio, a small hill next to that of San Donatus, was occupied and fortified in the Etruscan period. There is other significant Etruscan evidence: parts of walls, an Etruscan necropolis on Poggio del Sole, most famously, the two bronzes, the "Chimera of Arezzo" and the "Minerva" which were discovered in the 16th century and taken to Florence. Increasing trade connections with Greece brought some elite goods to the Etruscan nobles of Arezzo: the krater painted by Euphronios c. 510 BC depicting a battle against Amazons is unsurpassed.
Conquered by the Romans in 311 BC, Arretium became a military station on the via Cassia, the road by which Rome expanded into the basin of the Po. Arretium sided with Marius in the Roman Civil War, the victorious Sulla planted a colony of his veterans in the half-demolished city, as Arretium Fidens; the old Etruscan aristocracy was not extinguished: Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, whose name is eponymous with "patron of the arts", was of the noble Aretine Etruscan stock. The city continued to flourish as Arretium Vetus, the third largest city in Italy in the Augustan period, well known in particular for its exported pottery manufactures, the characteristic moulded and glazed Arretine ware, bucchero-ware of dark clay and red-painted vases. Around 261 AD the town council of Arezzo dedicated an inscription to its patron L. Petronius Taurus Volusianus. See that article for discussion of the possible political/military significance of Volusianus's association with the city. In the 3rd to 4th century Arezzo became an episcopal seat: it is one of the few cities whose succession of bishops are known by name without interruption to the present day, in part because they were the feudal lords of the city in the Middle Ages.
The Roman city was demolished through the Gothic War and the invasion of the Lombards dismantled, as elsewhere throughout Europe, the stones reused for fortifications by the Aretines. Only the amphitheater remained; the commune of Arezzo threw off the control of its bishop in 1098 and was an independent city-state until 1384. Ghibelline in tendency, it opposed Guelph Florence. In 1252 the city founded the Studium. After the rout of the Battle of Campaldino, which saw the death of Bishop Guglielmino Ubertini, the fortunes of Ghibelline Arezzo started to ebb, apart from a brief period under the Tarlati family, chief among them Guido Tarlati, who became bishop in 1312 and maintained good relations with the Ghibelline party; the Tarlati sought support in an alliance with Forlì and its overlords, the Ordelaffi, but failed: Arezzo yielded to Florentine domination in 1384. During this period Piero della Francesca worked in the church of San Francesco di Arezzo producing the splendid frescoes restored, which are Arezzo's most famous works.
Afterwards the city began an economical and cultural decay, which ensured that its medieval centre was preserved. In the 18th century the neighbouring marshes of the Val di Chiana, south of Arezzo, were drained and the region became less malarial. At the end of the-century French troops led by Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Arezzo, but the city soon turned into a resistance base against the invaders with the "Viva Maria" movement, winning the city the role of provincial capital. In 1860 Arezzo became part of the Kingdom of Italy. City buildings suffered heavy damage during World War II; the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Arezzo War Cemetery, where 1,266 men are buried, is located to the North West of the city. Pope Benedict XVI visited Arezzo and two other Italian municipalities on May 13, 2012. Arezzo is set on a steep hill rising from the floodplain of the River Arno. In the upper part of the town are the cathedral, the town hall and the Medici Fortress, from which the main streets branch off towards the lower part as far as the gates.
The upper part of the town maintains its medieval appearance despite the addition of structures. Arezzo's city proper is near the high risk areas for earthquakes, but located in a transitional area where the risk for severe earthquakes is much lower than in nearby Umbria and Abruzzo, albeit it is more vulnerable than Florence. Notable earthquakes are still a rare phenomenon in the province, with a 4.6 quake 25 kilometres to its north-east that claimed no lives on 26 November 2001 the exception. Under the Köppen climate classification Arezzo is either a humid subtropical climate or an oceanic climate, having traditionally leaned towards the latter, it has uncharacteristically hot summer days for a maritime climate, with the lows moderating the average temps and bringing it to sit right on the border with subtropical. The Piazza Grande is
Hannibal Barca was a general and statesman from Ancient Carthage, considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father, Hamilcar Barca, was a leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War, his younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair, all commanded Carthaginian armies. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin, triggered by the emergence of the Roman Republic as a great power after it had established its supremacy over Italy. Although Rome had won the First Punic War, revanchism prevailed in Carthage, symbolised by the alleged pledge that Hannibal made to his father to never be a friend of Rome; the Second Punic War broke out in 218 after Hannibal's attack on Saguntum, an ally of Rome in Hispania. He made his famous military exploit of carrying war to Italy by crossing the Alps with his African elephants. In his first few years in Italy, he won a succession of dramatic victories at the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, Cannae.
He distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent's respective strengths and weaknesses, to plan battles accordingly. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer. Hannibal occupied most of southern Italy for 15 years, but could not win a decisive victory, as the Romans led by Fabius Maximus avoided confrontation with him, instead waging a war of attrition. A counter-invasion of North Africa led by Scipio Africanus forced him to return to Carthage. Scipio had studied Hannibal's tactics and brilliantly devised some of his own, he defeated Rome's nemesis at the Battle of Zama, having driven Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal out of the Iberian Peninsula. After the war, Hannibal ran for the office of sufet, he enacted political and financial reforms to enable the payment of the war indemnity imposed by Rome. During this time, he lived at the Seleucid court, where he acted as military advisor to Antiochus III the Great in his war against Rome. Antiochus met defeat at the Battle of Magnesia and was forced to accept Rome's terms, Hannibal fled again, making a stop in the Kingdom of Armenia.
His flight ended in the court of Bithynia, where he achieved an outstanding naval victory against a fleet from Pergamon. He was afterwards betrayed to the committed suicide by poisoning himself. Hannibal is regarded as one of the greatest military strategists in history and one of the greatest generals of Mediterranean antiquity, together with Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Scipio Africanus. Plutarch states that Scipio asked Hannibal "who the greatest general was", to which Hannibal replied "either Alexander or Pyrrhus himself" Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge called Hannibal the "father of strategy", because Roman armies adopted elements of his military tactics into its own strategic arsenal. Hannibal has been cited by various subsequent military leaders, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, as an inspiration and the greatest strategist of all time; the English form of the name is derived from the Latin. Greek historians rendered the name as Anníbas Bárkas. Hannibal was a common Carthaginian masculine given name.
The name was recorded in Carthaginian sources as ḤNBʿL. It is a combination of the common Carthaginian masculine given name Hanno with the Northwest Semitic Canaanite deity Baal, its precise vocalization remains a matter of debate. Suggested readings include Ḥannobaʿal, Ḥannibaʿl, or Ḥannibaʿal, meaning "Baʿal/The Lord is Gracious", "Baʿal Has Been Gracious", or "The Grace of Baʿal". Barca was the Semitic surname of his aristocratic family, meaning "shining" or "lightning", it is thus the Phoenician equivalent to the Arabic name Barq or the Hebrew name Barak or the ancient Greek epithet Keraunos, given to military commanders in the Hellenistic period. In English, his clan are sometimes collectively known as the Barcids; as with Greek and Roman practice, patronymics were a common part of Carthaginian nomenclature, so that Hannibal would have been known as "Hannibal son of Hamilcar". Hannibal was one of the sons of a Carthaginian leader, he was born in what is present day northern Tunisia, one of many Mediterranean regions colonised by the Canaanites from their homelands in Phoenicia.
He had several sisters and two brothers and Mago. His brothers-in-law were the Numidian king Naravas, he was still a child when his sisters married, his brothers-in-law were close associates during his father's struggles in the Mercenary War and the Punic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. In light of Hamilcar Barca's cognomen, historians refer to Hamilcar's family as the Barcids. However, there is debate as to whether the cognomen Barca was applied to Hamilcar alone or was hereditary within his family. If the latter Hannibal and his brothers bore the name "Barca". After Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War, Hamilcar set out to improve his family's and Carthage's fortunes. With that in mind and supported by Gades, Hamilcar began the subjugation of the tribes of the Iberian Peninsula. Carthage at the time was in such a poor state. According to Polybius, Hannibal much said that when he came upon his father and begged to go with him, Hamilcar agreed and dem
Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo I de' Medici was the second Duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569, when he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, a title he held until his death. Cosimo was born in Florence on 12 June 1519, the son of the famous condottiere Ludovico de' Medici and his wife Maria Salviati, herself a granddaughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent, he was the Countess of Forlì and Lady of Imola. Cosimo came to power in 1537 at age 17, just after the 26-year-old Duke of Florence, Alessandro de' Medici, was assassinated. Cosimo was from a different branch of the Medici family, descended from Giovanni il Popolano, the great-grandson of Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, founder of the Medici Bank, it was necessary to search for a successor outside of the "senior" branch of the Medici family descended from Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici, since the only male child of Alessandro, the last lineal descendant of the senior branch, was born out-of-wedlock and was only four years' old at the time of his father's death. Up to the time of his accession, Cosimo had lived only in Mugello and was unknown in Florence.
However, many of the influential men in the city favoured him as the new duke. Several hoped to rule through him. However, as the Florentine literatus Benedetto Varchi famously put it, "The innkeeper's reckoning was different from the glutton's." Cosimo proved strong-willed and ambitious and soon rejected the clause he had signed that entrusted much of the power of the Florentine duchy to a Council of Forty-Eight. When the Florentine exiles heard of the death of Alessandro, they marshalled their forces with support from France and from disgruntled neighbors of Florence. During this time, Cosimo had an illegitimate daughter, portrayed shortly before her premature death in a marvelous painting by Bronzino. Toward the end of July 1537, the exiles marched into Tuscany under the leadership of Bernardo Salviati and Piero Strozzi; when Cosimo heard of their approach, he sent his best troops under Alessandro Vitelli to engage the enemy, which they did at Montemurlo. After defeating the exiles' army, Vitelli stormed the fortress, where Strozzi and a few of his companions had retreated to safety.
It fell after only a few hours, Cosimo celebrated his first victory. The prominent prisoners were subsequently beheaded in the Bargello. Filippo Strozzi's body was found with a bloody sword next to it and a note quoting Virgil, but many believe that his suicide was faked. In 1537, Cosimo sent Bernardo Antonio de' Medici to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to gain recognition for his position as head of the Florentine state; that recognition came in June 1537 in exchange for help against France in the course of the Italian Wars. With this move, Cosimo restored the power of the Medici, who thereafter ruled Florence until the death of the last of the Medici ruler, Gian Gastone de' Medici, in 1737; the help granted to Charles V allowed him to free Tuscany from the Imperial garrisons and to increase as much as possible its independence from the overwhelming Spanish influence in Italy. Cosimo next turned his attention to Siena. With the support of Charles V, he defeated the Sienese at the Battle of Marciano in 1554 and laid siege to their city.
Despite the inhabitants' desperate resistance, the city fell on 17 April 1555 after a 15-month siege, its population diminished from forty thousand to eight thousand. In 1559, the last redoubt of Sienese independence, was annexed to Cosimo's territories. In 1569, Pope Pius V elevated him to the rank of Grand Duke of Tuscany. In the last 10 years of his reign, struck by the death of two of his sons by malaria, Cosimo gave up active rule of the Florentine state to his son and successor Francesco I, he retreated to live in the Villa di Castello, outside Florence. Cosimo was an authoritarian ruler and secured his position by employing a guard of Swiss mercenaries. In 1548, he managed to have his relative Lorenzino, the last Medici claimant to Florence who had earlier arranged the assassination of Cosimo's predecessor Alessandro, assassinated himself in Venice. Cosimo was an active builder of military structures, as a part of his attempt to save the Florentine state from the frequent passage of foreign armies.
Examples include the new fortresses of Siena, Sansepolcro, the new walls of Pisa and Fivizzano and the strongholds of Portoferraio on the island of Elba and Terra del Sole. He laid heavy tax burdens on his subjects. Despite his economic difficulties, Cosimo was a lavish patron of the arts and developed the Florentine navy, which took part in the Battle of Lepanto, which he entrusted to his new creation, the Knights of St. Stephen. Cosimo is best known today for the creation of the Uffizi. Intended as a means of consolidating his administrative control of the various committees and guilds established in Florence's Republican past, it now houses one of the world's most important collections of art, much of it commissioned and/or owned by various members of the Medici family, his gardens at Villa di Castello, designed by Niccolò Tribolo when Cosimo was only seventeen years old, were designed to announce a new golden age for Florence and to demonstrate the magnificence and virtues of the Medici.
They were decorated with fountains, a labyrinth, a grotto and ingenious ornamental water features, were a prototype for the Italian Renaissance garden. They had a profound influence on Italian and French gardens through the eighteenth century. Cosimo finished the Pitti Palace as a home for the Medici and created the ma
The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a powerful and wealthy civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding to Tuscany, south of the Arno river, western Umbria and central Lazio, with offshoots to the north in the Po Valley, in the current Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy and southern Veneto, to the south, in some areas of Campania. As distinguished by its unique language, this civilization endured from before the time of the earliest Etruscan inscriptions until its assimilation into the Roman Republic, beginning in the late 4th century BC with the Roman–Etruscan Wars. Culture, identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 900 BC with the Iron Age Villanovan culture, regarded as the oldest phase of Etruscan civilization; the latter gave way in the 7th century BCE to a culture, influenced by Ancient Greek culture, during the Archaic and the Hellenistic period. At its maximum extent, during the foundational period of Rome and the Roman Kingdom, Etruscan civilization flourished in three confederacies of cities: of Etruria, of the Po Valley with the eastern Alps, of Campania.
The league in northern Italy is mentioned in Livy. The decline was gradual, but by 500 BCE the political destiny of Italy had passed out of Etruscan hands; the last Etruscan cities were formally absorbed by Rome around 100 BCE. Although the Etruscans developed a system of writing, the Etruscan language remains only understood, only a handful of texts of any length survive, making modern understanding of their society and culture dependent on much and disapproving Roman and Greek sources. Politics was based on the small city and the family unit. In their heyday, the Etruscan elite grew rich through trade with the Celtic world to the north and the Greeks to the south and filled their large family tombs with imported luxuries. Archaic Greece had a huge influence on their art and architecture, Greek mythology was evidently familiar to them; the Etruscans called themselves Rasenna, syncopated to Rasna or Raśna, while the ancient Romans referred to the Etruscans as the Tuscī or Etruscī. Their Roman name is the origin of the terms "Toscana", which refers to their heartland, "Etruria", which can refer to their wider region.
In Attic Greek, the Etruscans were known as Tyrrhenians, from which the Romans derived the names Tyrrhēnī, Tyrrhēnia, Mare Tyrrhēnum, prompting some to associate them with the Teresh. The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory, although Greek historians as early as the 5th century BC associated the Tyrrhenians with Pelasgians, which could both be broad descriptive terms. Strabo and the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus make mention of the Tyrrhenians as pirates. Thucydides and Strabo all denote Lemnos as settled by Pelasgians, whom Thucydides identifies as "belonging to the Tyrrhenians". Although both Strabo and Herodotus agree that Tyrrhenus / Tyrsenos, son of Atys, king of Lydia, led the migration, Strabo specifies that it was the Pelasgians of Lemnos and Imbros who followed Tyrrhenus to the Italian Peninsula. A link between Lemnos and the Tyrrhenians was further manifested by the discovery of the Lemnos Stele, whose inscriptions were written in a language which shows strong structural resemblances to the language of the Etruscans.
This has led to the suggestion of a "Tyrrhenian language group" comprising Etruscan and the Raetic spoken in the Alps. Hellanicus of Lesbos records a Pelasgian migration from Thessaly to the Italian peninsula, noting that "the Pelasgi made themselves masters of some of the lands belonging to the Umbri". By contrast, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a Greek writer living in Rome, dismisses many of the ancient theories of the other Greek historians and postulates that the Etruscans were indigenous people who had always lived in Etruria. For this reason, therefore, I am persuaded that the Pelasgians are a different people from the Tyrrhenians, and I do not believe, that the Tyrrhenians were a colony of the Lydians. For they neither worship the same gods as the Lydians nor make use of similar laws or institutions, but in these respects they differ more from the Lydians than from the Pelasgians. Indeed, those come nearest to the truth who declare that the nation migrated from nowhere else, but was native to the country, since it is found to be a ancient nation and to agree with no other either in its language or in its manner of living.
Furthermore, Dionysius of Halicarnassus is the first ancient writer who reports the endonym of the Etruscans: Rasenna. The Romans, give them other names: from the country they once inhabited, named Etruria, they call them Etruscans, from their knowledge of the ceremonies relating to divine worship, in which they excel others, they now call them, rather inaccurately, but with the same accuracy as the Greeks, they called them Thyoscoï, their own name for themselves, however, is the same as that of one of Rasenna. Livy in his Ab Urbe Condita Libri says the Rhaetians were Etruscans driven into the mountains by the invading Gauls, asserts that the inhabitants of Raetia were of Etruscan origin; the Alpine tribes have no doubt, the same origin the Raetians.